There's a few things you definitely don't want to forget if you're traveling with a baby (your baby is one of them, but that goes without saying). The days of, "as long as I have my passport" are no longer because you're now responsible for another human. The list isn't long, grueling, or difficult to obtain at all, but you'll want to have each of these on hand in case an airline agent asks for them. They won't always (and you may never be asked to show them), but if they do and you don't have it, they can prevent you from boarding. So, let me help avoid a ruined trip.
1. PROOF OF AGE
For a lap infant, you may need to provide proof of age. This can be in the form of a birth certificate, passport, and some airlines accept immunization records. For us, I always have a copy of Zay's birth certificate on hand for a domestic flight.
2. PASSPORT (for international flights)
A child of any age will need a passport to fly internationally. Be sure to apply for your child's passport a good 6-8 weeks before your trip. And there's a bonus! A passport held by your infant is the coolest baby souvenir of all time and gives your kid street cred for life.
For a first time passport, you will need to apply in person using the (DS-11) form. Along with the completed application, you will need to show evidence of US citizenship, parental relationship, parental consent by both parents, and a passport photo. For more detailed information, visit the Bureau of Consular Affairs website.
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3. PARENTAL CONSENT
If you are traveling alone with a baby without the other legal guardian, you should have a letter from that guardian giving consent to travel. This is increasingly more important to have on hand as the number of children being abducted in custody cases is increasing. It doesn't have to be anything fancy, but you may want to have it notarized to make it super profesh. Here is a sample template online to help guide you.
That's it! Not so bad, right? For a full packing list, check out the packing section of the site. Or, even better, download and print out our packing list so you don't miss a thing.